Boralex Inc., a renewable energy provider, and its Innu community partners in the joint venture Parc éolien Apuiat S.E.C. have closed on $608 million in financing for the Apuiat wind farm, located on Quebec’s North Shore.
The long-term financing for the 200 MW project was secured by the Desjardins Group, acting as coordinating lead arranger, sole bookrunner and agent for the banking syndicate, which also included international financial institutions CaixaBank, DZ Bank AG and The Korea Development Bank. As financial advisor, Selkirk Advisory Group also contributed to the success of this financing.
The financing for the Apuiat project comprises:
- A $465.3 million construction loan, to be converted to a term loan with a 25-year term after the start of commercial operation, which is scheduled for the second half of 2024, with an advantageous interest rate.
- Short-term facilities totaling $142,7 million, including a bridge loan and a letter of credit facility, for the purposes of financing certain costs incurred during construction that are reimbursable by Hydro-Québec and issuing various letters of credit. The bridge loan will reduce the amount of equity attributed to the project in the short term, thereby optimizing the overall capital structure of Boralex and the Innu.
- A significant portion of the long-term financing component bears interest at a rate fixed under an interest rate hedging arrangement.
- An ESG swap which includes a cash back, designed by Desjardins as sole ESG swap arranger, to cover the debt’s interest rate risk and to reward the achievement of ESG key performance indicators. The amount of the cash back paid to the project is based on the ESG impact of the commitments and the efforts required by the company to achieve them.
“I am immensely proud of the work done by Boralex’s teams, supported by our Innu and financial partners, to put in place this innovative financing that allows Boralex increased financial flexibility,” says Bruno Guilmette, executive vice president and CFO of Boralex. “The construction of the Apuiat project marks the beginning of a period of strong growth for Quebec’s wind power, in which Boralex intends to strongly contribute by leveraging its vast experience as an energy asset developer and operator.”